ECN gears up for voter registration

Niël Terblanché

As the November Presidential and National Assembly elections approach, the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has announced that it needs 997 vehicles to support the upcoming voter registration drive.

De Wet Siluka, the ECN’s spokesperson, stated that most of these vehicles would need to be rented from private individuals. Out of the nearly 1,000 vehicles, 138 will be allocated for use in the Khomas Region alone.

The ECN has previously informed prospective vendors that their vehicles must undergo inspection.

According to Siluka, this requirement has led to a significant turnout of private vehicle owners at the Otjomuise Police Station in Windhoek for vehicle inspections and testing.

Siluka indicated that more than 170 vehicles were tested within three hours in the Khomas Region and added that successful applicants will be notified if their vehicles will be utilized in due course.

The vehicle testing and inspection commenced on Wednesday and was set to be finalized on Thursday.

Siluka added that interested individuals can still take their cars for inspection at designated regional police stations until Friday.

“The criteria for vehicle eligibility include being less than ten years old, being a single or double cab bakkie, two-by-four or four-by-four with a canopy, and these vehicles must be roadworthy,” he said.

He added that vehicles must also be free of any stickers, slogans, or colours associated with political parties, religious groups, or businesses and that the tyres fitted to these vehicles should not be older than five years.

According to Siluka, the general registration of voters is set to begin on 3 June and will continue until 1 August.

He mentioned that, in the meantime, the ECN has already dispatched registration equipment and materials to all 14 regions and 33 foreign missions in preparation for the 2024 General Registration of Voters.

“A total of 918 registration kits have been sent to the regions, while 70 kits have been dispatched to foreign missions,” he said.

Siluka explained that the domestic transportation of equipment and materials was handled by NamPost Courier under an existing Memorandum of Understanding. All dispatched equipment was escorted by members of the Namibian Police’s Reserve Force.

“The materials were delivered to ECN depots located at the Regional Police Stations in each of the 14 regions,” he said and added that equipment sent to Namibia’s diplomatic missions abroad has been secured in appropriate diplomatic bags to prevent tampering.

According to the ECN, voter registration is a critical process in democratic elections, ensuring that eligible citizens can participate in choosing their representatives.

In Namibia, the registration process involves verifying personal details, providing identification documents, and ensuring the accuracy of the voter roll.

The ECN aims to make the process accessible and efficient, accommodating voters both domestically and abroad.

The ECN said that the use of modern technology, such as biometric data collection and electronic verification systems, enhances the integrity and transparency of the registration process.

Siluka said that with the upcoming elections, the ECN is focused on ensuring that every eligible Namibian can register and exercise their right to vote.

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